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Fitness instructor Pam Watson from Forres celebrates 65 years of teaching with FLexercise

By Garry McCartney

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Pam celebrating another milestone at the Mosset Tavern.
Pam celebrating another milestone at the Mosset Tavern.

A LOCAL fitness instructor celebrated 65 years of teaching FLexercise sessions with 80 class attendees.

Pam Watson’s mother was a FLexercise member at Surbiton, Surrey so she joined the then newly opened junior class aged just eight-years-old, going on to be part of a team in the 1953 Coronation display at the Royal Albert Hall.

“I came home inspired,” remembered Pam, “I wanted to be a health and beauty teacher!”

In 1957, having completed a full-time teacher training course with the Women’s League of Health and Beauty, Pam opened a class in Swindon and reopened the Oxford Centre – at 19-years-old – before taking over centres at Farnborough and Walton-on-Thames.

Pam moved to Forres with her family in June, 1972. She still lives at Tigh Grianach on Thornhill Road with her husband of 60 years, Dick.

She said: “Dick was offered a job in the racing stable at P S Nicholson, looking after Ray Fielding’s racing cars. He was up here in November 1971 and we – daughter Jenny and son Nick – moved up the following summer.

“I started a class at Anderson’s School that September, then a class for senior citizens in 1974 at the newly opened Forres House Community Centre. I took over a new class in Elgin, and a dancercise class at Forres House. Taking over a big class in Inverness in 1984 gave me plenty of exercise!”

Pam (now 84) also organised exercise displays at Brodie Castle’s Taste of Moray, the Glasgow Garden Festival and the Royal Albert Hall.

“I enjoy the friendships and the fun,” she said, “as well as seeing members enjoying music and movement.”

Pam is joint longest serving teacher in the FLexercise organisation.

“We had a special lunch to celebrate at the Mosset Tavern,” she said.

“Laughter and reminiscing was topped off with a stunning cake made and decorated by my daughter Jenny.”

Jenny Bichan, a former PE teacher and current personal trainer took over her mum’s FLexercise class four years ago.

She said: “Through Covid we have the support from Forres folk, the class and the Swinging Seniors who still enjoy weekly sessions.”

Pam confirmed Jenny has an active class on Tuesday mornings while she still does a class in the afternoon, both at the centre.

“I’ve been looking to retire for years,” said Pam, “so I’m delighted Jenny is teaching the classes now. They are in safe hands!”

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